Engineering professionals, stakeholders and risk managers from North, Central, and South America, Europe, Japan and the Caribbean gathered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to discuss seismic hazard, vulnerability and risk in Central America and the Caribbean from 19th - 22nd March 2018. A delegation from the GEM Foundation joined representatives from Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN), CEPREDENAC, Office of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management (ODPEM), OYO Corporation, 100 Resilient Cities, UNDP, the World Bank, SURAMERICANA, USAID and other stakeholders from about 10 countries for the final project meeting to present the results of the CCARA project and for the “Trabajando juntos para evaluar el riesgo sísmico en Centro América y el Caribe” international symposium. Both events were sponsored by USAID and hosted by ONESVIE.
The first three days focused on the presentation of the results from the CCARA project with the following topics: methodology, models, and results for the Dominican Republic with the objective of transferring the knowledge gained during the project and to receive feedback from local experts (Day 1); a full day workshop to present the OpenQuake engine (OQ) using the models developed in the CCARA project as well as discussing future possibilities of collaboration (Day 2); anda public presentation of an overview of the regional model developed within the project and how it can be used for risk management planning participated by more than 120 people (Day 3).
After running some calculation exercises in OQ for earthquake scenarios and probabilistic losses, most of the engineers - introduced for the first time to seismic vulnerability and risk - expressed interest in demonstrating the value of assessing risk in their respective countries (e.g. Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama). The fourth and final day was devoted to the international symposium on Earthquake Risk Assessment and Reduction in Central America and the Caribbean with the objective of better understanding how to tackle present and future challenges in seismic risk management. "The international symposium provided a venue for us [the participants] to identify and analyze together several aspects that could contribute to the improvement of how we should tackle present and future challenges on seismic hazard and risk," Catalina Yepes, seismic risk expert, GEM Foundation.